Christy and Tiffany were having a hangout session at Christy’s house when Tiffany first broached the idea of opening a bakery together. “I said, ‘Let’s just do it,’” Tiffany recalls. Baked & Co. was at its first market, called Teak Lane Makers Market, just four weeks later.
Christy does most of the actual baking for the bakery, whereas Tiffany handles the business side of things. Tiffany says she can follow a recipe but has no great talent for it the way Christy does.
“She is definitely a phenomenal baker,” Tiffany says of Christy. “I do believe God gifts us with things, and that’s definitely her gift.”
Christy says her creativity and skill shine the most with the cookie subscription box the bakery offers. She often experiments with new flavors such as coquito, a traditional Christmas drink that originated in Puerto Rico.
When it comes to inspiration, Christy is most influenced by her family. Christy’s favorite item on the menu is dumplings, an idea that originated from her grandmother and mother.
Christy praises Tiffany for being a deft communicator in addition to being a skilled business operations manager. Tiffany is especially good at marketing on social media, according to Christy. “God definitely uses her and gifts her through writing,” Christy says.
The bakery has grown at a much more rapid pace than either Christy or Tiffany had originally anticipated. Christy even quit her part-time job to accommodate all the orders, while still preparing for the Ocala Downtown Market they now frequent on the first and third Saturday of every month.
Given Baked & Co.’s increasing popularity, Christy and Tiffany’s families often pitch in to lighten the load. According to both friends, their respective husbands are very supportive of the bakery. Both men, collectively referred to as “the husbands,” spend many a market day handing out samples and directing people to the Baked & Co. booth.
“They dream bigger than we dream,” Christy laughs. “But now, we’re catching up.”
Christy says she would like the bakery to eventually expand beyond just Ocala, but right now, she and Tiffany are focused on opening a brick-and-mortar store first. They hope it will happen sometime in the coming year.